Who on this earth forgives my sins? Not counting my former wickedness against me, but giving me room to become a true man.
Who on this earth accepts me for the fullness that I am? Not expecting me to fulfil their grand illusions of the titles such a man as I should wear; daddy, friend, employee, acquaintance, American citizen, and a human.
There is One who has accepted me and forgiven my sins. He does not have grand illusions concerning my abilities. He does not press on me more than I can handle. And he is patient with my restricted ability to learn.
Before I was born he held out his hand in friendship, and he has not pulled it back once. He has forgiven my great wickedness, not counting the things I did before I became his student. And that same forgiveness lives day to day and moment to moment, as I stumble and stammer to understand and obey.
Now I have been told, that there is no humanity left in me. The one who said this to me has grand illusions concerning this man. But I do not hold it against him, I refuse to have grand illusions concerning my former friend.
But this one has done me a gracious favor. He has driven me to love the Lord Jesus all the more.
His vicious remark revealed something remarkable. I am becoming like my Lord, to the point that others are forced to voice their observation.
If what he says is true, then what have I lost that he should observe it so radically?
1. I have stepped out of the sandbox of humanity. I no longer desire to play with the same toys I did before.
2. I do not judge others as the world judges. I am led to assess Man according to what is revealed from God.
3. I have forfeited vulgar words from my conversations. I no longer take delight in the profane and useless conversations of Man.
4. I no longer speak of anything in the world as if it is beautiful. As if involuntary, I perceive all things here as if they are already destroyed.
What must I have gained that he should observe me as such a man?
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” (Luke 6)
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3)
7 “For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. (Psalm 69)
Depression is not becoming in those who love the Lord. I know the sting of rejection, just like all my brothers and sisters do. Just see how he has left us an answer for the things that cut so deeply.
Let the world revile us for no reason, for so they have treated the one we love. And when they turn on us like animals, let us strive to remember:
24 “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church . . .” (Colossians 1)
By His Grace